17th MARCH 2022

Lazarus and the Rich Man (5 Lessons) — Parables of Jesus



Jer 17: 5-10;                           Ps 1: 1-4, 6;                Lk 16: 19-31



We are in the second week of the lent. The liturgy of the word intensifies our spiritual preparation. We are invited to make a choice between good and evil. Life is filled with choices. Most of the time, the result of a choice decides whether the choice is right or wrong. The liturgy of today paradoxically presents the results of the choices made. In the gospel, a rich man after his death realizes that his choices are wrong. In the first reading we are presented how a man who trusts another man falls, and the man who trusts in the Lord is exalted.

Prophet Jeremiah presents us how a man with a wrong choice, that is, to trust man instead of God, is like a shrub in the desert. A shrub in the desert is not expected to bear good fruits. Its roots are not deep and strong; it has to bear heat, hardships and difficulties. On the other hand, the one who chooses God as his strength is blessed. The psalmist tells us that such a one grows like a tree planted beside the flowing waters, that yields its fruits in due season.

Lazarus was a poor man who depended on God’s mercy. At the other side, we have a rich man who placed his trust in his own power and wealth. The results of both – Lazarus in heavenly abode and the rich man being tormented in hell – help us to discern the right choice.

The dialogue between the rich man and Abraham is the message for us to carry in our hearts and minds today – “Remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.” May we not find ourselves in the tragic situation of the rich man, regretting for not paying heed to the word of the Lord in this life and making choices accordingly.

Response: Blessed the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

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